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Access denied for more sporty Brera

Beefed-up: Prodrive-tuned Brera boasts greater dynamic abilities.

Alfa’s stunning coupe gets a dynamic makeover by Prodrive, but it's not coming to Oz

26 May 2008

BRITISH racing and performance car specialists Prodrive – the company behind Ford Performance Vehicles – has waved its magic wand over the gorgeous Alfa Romeo Brera to give it the dynamic ability to match its looks.

However, with production limited to 500, the Alfa Romeo Brera S has been produced specifically for the British market and is not expected to be sold in Australia.

Prodrive, which is run by former Honda F1 team boss David Richards and also operates Aston Martin’s sportscar program and Subaru’s world rally team, re-engineered the standard car and will oversee production of the 500 units at Alfa’s UK import centre.

Prodrive’s first objective was to reduce the car’s roll and pitch, which was achieved by fitting Eibach springs that are 50 per cent stiffer than standard and gas-filled mono-tube Bilstein shock absorbers. The geometry has also been altered and the car lowered by 10mm at both ends.

26 center imageNew lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels inspired by those on the Alfa 8C Competitizione have been fitted, not only for cosmetic appeal but as part of an unsprung weight-reduction campaign. The wheels wear Pirelli PZero Nero tyres.

Other weight-saving measures include the adoption of hollow anti-roll bars and factory supplied aluminium suspension components.

The result is a 100kg reduction for the 3.2-litre V6-engined model while the 2.2-litre four-cylinder is 35kg lighter.

Prodrive project leader Peter Cambridge said that the result of the engineering program is “a car that ‘shrinks’ around the driver and delivers all the fun and engagement of a sports car driving experience on A and B-roads, yet on motorways offers a compliant and composed ride.” “Our painstaking work with the spring set-up controls exactly how much the car pitches and rolls with every lump, bump, camber and pothole on our roads. Then we developed the dampers to control the rate at which the springs respond.

“Once we were satisfied with that, we set about really affecting the feel and response of the steering to inspire confidence.” Although the engines are unchanged, the lighter overall weight sees 0-100km/h acceleration times marginally reduced to 8.6 seconds for the four-cylinder and 7.0s for the V6.

Inside, the Brera S features black leather seats with red stitching, with matching dashboard fascia, door panels, steering wheel and gearlever. The centre console and instruments are also faced in a dark finish.

There are also, of course, the requisite drilled aluminium foot pedals while the headrest recess houses a limited edition Brera S aluminium plate featuring the Italian and British flags.

Read more:

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